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Should religious buildings (synagogues/churches/worship halls/etc) be eligible for FEMA aid?

Church-State Concerns Keeping Sandy-Damages Houses of Worship From Receiving FEMA Aid

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 5:07 PM on Dec. 4, 2012 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • ...I don't know.

    Answer by FreeForAll at 5:08 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • why not? I see nothing wrong with it since it was a natural disaster and couldn't be controlled.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 5:10 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • hmm this is tricky. religious buildings dont pay taxes and thats where FEMA gets its money correct? so if they havent paid into it, they shouldnt reap the benefits...

    BUT what if the church/synagogue was a historical landmark that means a lot to the community? the psychological effects of having back that place of worship would do more to heal a community than most anything. should ppl who get their tax money back or dont pay taxes get FEMA help? tricky tricky tricky...

    Answer by okmanders at 5:16 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • Tell me if I get this wrong. Churchs are not taxed? So if they do not pay taxes they do not get FEMA help.

    Answer by louise2 at 5:18 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • No, no taxes to help aid FEMA= no help. They can rebuild using their own funds

    Answer by funlovinlady at 5:22 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • This one is easy, no taxes, no aid. Don't like it? End tax exempt status for churches.

    Answer by tessiedawg at 6:22 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • I agree with Okmanders. It's tricky. Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship don't pay taxes, so at first the answer seems simple; no taxes, no aid. But religious groups are often crucial in bringing communities together. Also, religious institutions extend an enormous amount of charitable help, both during natural disasters and at other times. Where's the first place people turn to when they need Christmas gifts, bus fare, that kind of thing? The government could never make up for the loss if the funds and donations from religious institutions were cut off. So it seems to me they deserve as much aid as anyone when something like a hurricane strikes.

    Answer by Ballad at 8:17 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • Hmm. That is tricky. I can't settle on a straight yes or no, but okmanders covered some of the thoughts I had running through my head. Add to that the various charities that the religious institution may be running, and I am leaning more towards "yes".

    Answer by DusterMommy at 9:05 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • I don't know either. One one hand, in many cases these are the same places vehemently insisting that separation of church and state means they should be exempt from Obamacare no matter what (and in the cases of the actual houses of worship, they are). On the other, in some more rural places, the buildings are used as emergency shelters in just this kind of disaster.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 9:09 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

  • That is tricky. I mean, yeah, they didnt pay in any of the money that they would be getting. HOWEVER, they are also a great comfort to their paritioners, so I can see how fixing them may be important. It truely is a conundrum and I am glad that I don't have to make that call, because no matter which way they go, they are going to get flack and crap from someone. I wish them all the luck in the wolrd with that one!

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 10:48 PM on Dec. 4, 2012

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